Sunday, May 15, 2011

Illustration Friday - Safari

This week's word for the 'Illustration Friday' challenge is "Safari," a word that in previous generations would have conjured up images of the 'great white hunter,' with his big guns and a retinue of porters. Fortunately, for the most part, that sort of safari is a thing of the past. Nowadays, those who actually go on safaris, go with a camera in hand instead of a gun. I love taking pictures of animals, so I would love someday to go on a photo-shooting safari. Anyway, the idea of a photo safari made me think of a boy on a backyard safari, stalking the family cat with his camera.

In my first sketch, I had the boy peeking at the cat, who's trying to sleep, through the fronds of a potted palm. I wasn't happy with the boy's pose, he was too static. Sense I wanted to convey the idea that he was stalking the cat, I wanted more of a sense of movement. Before creating a new sketch, I did what I often do when I need inspiration or a reference for movement, I consulted one of my books on cartooning and animation. In this case I consulted the book "Animation," by Preston Blair. I've had this book for years, probably since I was in high school, a time when I had dreams of becoming an animator. It's a thin, paperback book, part of the Walter T. Foster "How to Draw" art book series that has been around for years (over 80 years, according to their website).

I've used this book many times in the past, it's a great resource for designing cartoon-style characters and learning exaggerated movements. It has a great page dedicated entirely to a 'sneak' animation cycle, (see page detail at left) which is what I used as a reference for my second sketch.

My digital pencil sketches as well as the finished piece were created using Corel Painter 11. In the final illustration, I used Painter's New Simple Water and Coarse Mop Brush watercolor brushes, as well as some of their pen brushes which I customized slightly to produce a more ragged, leaky looking line.

11 comments:

  1. This illustration is absolutely fantastic!

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  2. I really really like this one! The colors! The design! The action! Awesome!

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  3. Vincent, I have seen that book all my life, since my dad bought it when I was a kid. :)

    Nice illustration. Any place is good to enjoy a safari. :)

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  4. I love my animation books from college. I used to pour over them for hours and hours lol. I have to admit that I haven't cracked them open since shortly after I graduated.. ohh, 4 years ago... but I still treasure them. :-)

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  5. love it Vincent, very cute idea, I'll have to look that book up to add to my collection :)

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  6. Super cute...love the sneaky pose!

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  7. Lovely illustration. Love learning your process too. I can't wait to try a digital painting myself!

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  8. Great! I love it! And thanks so much for the recommendation! I'm going to have to get my hands on that book!

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  9. I had that book (and probably still do, too) 30+ years ago. I loved it. (Joe)

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